Mon, Feb 24, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Police arrest hobbyist for carrying high-frequency radio while photographing jets

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

A man who photographed Mirage 2000 fighter jets near Hsinchu air force base while carrying a high-frequency radio was arrested and charged with violations of the Classified National Security Information Protection Act (國家機密保護法), Hsinchu military police said yesterday.

The police said Wu Ken-hsien (吳根賢), 43, along with several other people, yesterday morning climbed atop an old container house just outside the base, where they photographed the jets taking off and landing.

After nearby residents reported their activities to the police, both military police and Hsinchu police asked the group to leave.

Wu and other people then moved to a nearby bridge and continued photographing the combat planes. Military police again approached the group and found that Wu was carrying a high-frequency radio which was tuned to the air force’s military radio frequency.

Wu was arrested for alleged violations of the Classified National Security Information Protection Act, as well as the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法).

Wu was quoted by military police as saying: “I use the radio to listen to dialogue between the tower and pilots, to learn the precise time and position of fighter jets before taking off and landing, and to photograph them at better angles. I am not the only one doing this… why arrest only me?”

Some people at the scene were quoted in local media reports as expressing their unhappiness at Wu’s arrest, saying that the air force’s radio frequency is not a secret and it can be found online, and that they were photographing combat planes as a hobby, not to spy on them.

Meanwhile, in other news, a 63-year-old man surnamed Cheng was arrested at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport yesterday for uttering the word “bomb” at an airline counter.

Police said Cheng, who was embarking on a trip to Vietnam with family members and friends, argued with airline personnel over overweight luggage.

“This is luggage, not a bomb,” a reportedly exasperated Cheng said.

Cheng was arrested by police after the airline reported the case.

Police said Article 150 of the Civil Aviation Act (民用航空法) states that any person making a false report of a threat to aviation safety or aviation facilities should be subject to imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to NT$1 million (US$32,900).

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